In 1971 you released an album called “Tapestry”. This is an album in which you either wrote all the songs either by yourself, or with a little help from your friends, with the exception of “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman” and “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.” I say this not to tell you something you already know, but to simply state facts since so many artists in today’s world have absolutely no idea how to write a decent song. So sad, but so true!
I was in the midst of a great love with a young lady I imagined would be my mate the rest of my life when I heard the first single, “I Feel The Earth Move”. Indeed, she did make the Earth move under my feet, and everything else for that matter. I’d lost my mother when I was only thirteen, and she had become the sole female in my life. We’d walk together, hand in hand, through all of life’s trials and tribulations regardless of the odds. And, you were there with us.
(“I Feel The Earth Move”)
How fragile young love is. It wasn’t long before your second single, “It’s Too Late” was telling our story. I know, your were telling the story from your own experiences and from a female point of view, but believe me, your words never fit a situation better. She’d grown tired of walking the halls at high school alone and had found another. Yes, she’d returned my engagement ring, only to ask for it the following week. That was when I found it wasn’t I that she’d desired, but the status of wearing a diamond to high school. I should have known better.
(“It’s Too Late”)
After her, I found another. Yet, Vietnam was on the horizon reminding me how unsure the future could be. I was having fun with my new partner, doing things that I’d never imagined doing, as she was an entirely different person than the first. Much more daring and one to seek out the fun things life had to offer, I left the land of the narrow-minded and experienced my own “Smackwater Jack” person. From concerts to going ice fishing (and accidentally toasting crickets along the way with the rear heater vent in the VW), she taught me that it wasn’t only material goods that brought a smile, but the small things that could be shared together in a very special moment.
“Tapestry” continued to follow me in my life. The military caught up with me and I couldn’t escape its grasp. After a trip home for leave, I’d started the eighteen hour drive back to the base in Virginia when “So Far Away” hit the radio.
Yes, we’d visited and shared not only some good times, but also our physical love for each other. There were no promises made to be broken in the future. We’d acted as how we’d expected adults to act. It wasn’t the most loving goodbye, but it was sufficient, or so we’d thought.
(“So Far Away”)
Would you believe I turned the car around after listening to your song and drove an hour and a half back to do it all over again? I did! But this time, with love and affection. I asked her to gather her things and go with me. Of course, she didn’t as her college obligations and such kept her cemented to her surroundings. But, at least your song made our goodbye one in which we knew we might have a chance to get back together in the future.
Your 8-track accompanied me in my journeys for many years, later becoming a cassette and then a cd. Every song has a personal story that I could relate, but restrain myself for respect for your time. I will say that “Home Again” was there when I returned to her and my home after the military, as well as “You’ve Got A Friend” every time I tried to cheer up someone over the years that needed a smile.
I really don’t know if you knew how deep “Tapestry” would affect a person over the years when you released it. I can only tell you that to this soon to be 60-year-old, it has created a musical bond between you and millions like me, whose lives have been much better places to be with “Tapestry” a part of them.
Now, you and I and millions of others are getting older by the second. One by one, we tend to leave this Earth and head off into another existence … or, so we hope. It’s been a long and interesting journey, and the next one promises nothing different.
I have to say “Thank You” for providing us with “Tapestry”. It enlightened, nurtured, consoled, and entertained us for many a decade.
I’m just wondering, will “Home Again” be played as an encore when we reach our final destination?
To Download Carole King Tapestry, click this link: Tapestry – Carole King
Having grown up during the 50′s & 60′s, Rich was a personal witness to the confusion of the times. His love of music drew him into the conflicts of the day as he protested many of the atrocities in civil rights and an overseas war. Ironically, military service, during the final days of the Vietnam Conflict, ended a music career in a successful band. However, his love of music held true as he later chose a career as a radio announcer over law school. Here, along with being able to play the music he cherished, he interviewed many top music acts. This allowed him to gain much knowledge of the recording industry and the psyche of music artists in rock, jazz and R&B. Later, his love of performing transformed him into a career in stand-up comedy. Twenty years later, his love for music continues. Quote: “Being born in 1954, Rock ‘N Roll and I have grown up together. I wouldn’t have had it any other way!”
2 thoughts on “A Letter to Carole King Concerning Tapestry”
Only one of the greatest albums ever. Ever. She’s just so lovely on this one. Thanks for a wonderful flashback, Rich!
still one of my favorite albums and Carole..one of my favorite voices of all time.
I loved this look back.